The Sword in the Stone is one of my all-time favorite stories. That’s why I’m thrilled about the latest movie that drew inspiration from the timeless Arthurian legend: The Kid Who Would Be King. Critics like myself loved it (it’s holding at 90% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), as it delivers quality entertainment to a long-neglected movie audience: kids who are past the cartoon stage but not yet full-on teens.

Now at the Box and On Demand, it’s a modern take on the myth of Excalibur. This time, it’s Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis — yep, Andy’s kid), a boy who’s being bullied at school, who stumbles upon the ancient sword and is able to pull it out of a rubble heap. He’s soon exposed to a whole new world of brave knights, wise wizards (including Patrick Stewart as Merlin) and evil sorceresses, and he must recruit both his friends and enemies at school to fight off the wicked Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) and her minions.

So if you’ve got kids who you know would be into a medieval-times-meets-middle-school movie, why not plan a little viewing party for them?

Here are some ideas to have a Movie Night for Knights.

  • Dress the Part: Your child and his or her friends can choose if they’d rather be knights, wizards or sorceresses. Wizards and sorceresses call for flowing robes and pointy hats and wands, at the very least. Knights can have “armor” (made of cardboard) and swords (the aluminum foil kind, of course!). And maybe even toy horses.
  • Declare Your Loyalty: Each guest can create a banner with their “family sigil” out of construction paper or a long paper roll — wizards and sorceresses can participate, too, because the magic folks usually do end up taking sides.
  • Beware of Dragons: Bunch up several green balloons for a dragon’s body, and then use cardboard or other craft materials for its head, tail and fire coming out of its mouth. And, of course, if your kids are like mine and have dragon figurines, books and stuffed animals, bring all of them out and put them on display.
  • Try Your Hand: Only the true king could pull Excalibur from the stone … but for your party, everyone is able to participate. That’s because you’ll just put little tiny sword toothpicks on the top of cupcakes. Minimal effort required to pull those puppies out! If you want to add to the fun, stack the cupcakes on a stand that looks like a castle (you can either buy a pre-made one or decorate an existing serving tray).
  • Gather Round: What would the Knights of the Round Table be without a round table? If you don’t have one for the occasion, fake it till you make it by securing rounded cardboard corners to an existing table under a tablecloth (and then ensuring no one puts much weight on those ends).
  • Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Buy some of those cheap plastic goblet cups at a party or dollar store to serve drinks out of. Have snacks like fruit kebabs with sword skewers, or a fruit and veggie platter with green grapes or slices of cucumber weaving in an S-shape across the tray like a dragon. Decorate your viewing room like a castle — to me, red, blue and gold seem like knight-ly colors to be the focus of for balloons or streamers. The finishing touch can be medieval music (yes, there’s such a thing) streaming in the background before showtime.

And then, settle in to watch The Kid Who Would Be King with your brave knights and magical wizards and sorceresses. Dilly dilly!

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